PokerStars Launches Active Waiting Lists

Active waiting lists become part of the PokerStars software from October 5th

PokerStars is protecting its cash game players from predatory behavior by launching Active Waiting Lists. The world’s largest online poker site hopes the new active waiting lists will prevent recreational players being preyed upon.

The new active waiting lists get rid of the first come first served seating system currently in place. All players are placed into a waiting pool and a draw is made when a seat becomes available.

Luke Staudenmaier is the Head of Poker Operations for The Stars Group. Staudenmaier is a former professional poker player who retired in 2014. He’s since used his expertise to help improve PokerStars’ products. The man formerly known as “IWEARGOGGLES” explained the decision to move to active waiting lists.

“Our latest feature, Active Waiting Lists, is all about making the game fairer and the experience better for most players. We created this new system for those who like to play cash games with us and it is primarily designed to combat predatory behavior and level the playing field. It achieves this goal by making it more difficult for some players to seek out our less experienced or more recreational players.”

“This system has been designed to encourage engagement and action, while deterring players whose only objective is to join games with weaker opponents. Now, instead of passively sitting on a waiting list until the right seat becomes available, that player will need to play in order to remain on the waiting list.”

How Do Active Waiting Lists Work?

We’re all used to traditional waiting lists for online poker cash games. You see a table you want to sit at but it’s full so you click the waiting list button. The first person on the waiting list gets to sit down once someone leaves the table.

Active waiting lists are different. They create a similar dynamic to the must-move system employed by some land-based poker rooms. Players wanting to join a waiting list must already be seated at a table with the same stakes and style. A seat is granted if this criterion is met and nobody else is on the waiting list. A random draw takes place if more than one person is waiting.

Staydenmaier knows not everyone will be a fan of active waiting lists, but the majority of players will be.

“We understand that people who use waiting lists to hunt weaker players will not be happy with this change, but our intention is to make the online poker lobby a fairer place, and to ensure the game’s ongoing health.”

This Is The Latest Step To Prevent Bum Hunting

The introduction of active waiting lists is the latest step taken to prevent “bum hunting”. This is a term used to describe the practice of actively seeking and only playing weaker players. Unscrupulous players target lesser-skilled players, win their money, and sit out.

PokerStars has historically taken steps to prevent bum hunters from going about their business. Heads-up cash games were PokerStars’ first target. The structure of these one-on-one games made them perfect for bum hunters. PokerStars removed all standard heads-up cash games and replaced with them Zoom games in 2016.

It took more steps in 2019 when it banned seating scripts. This automated software scans the cash game lobby and looks for the perfect setup, always a table where a recreational or weaker player is seated. The software automatically takes the best possible seat, allowing bum hunters to, well, bum hunt.

Not everyone will like active waiting lists, in fact, more will be against them than for them. Not everyone who uses waiting lists does so for bum hunting purposes. Most join a waiting list because the table seems juicy because the average pots are higher, for example. This new system eradicates that possibility.

Active waiting lists come into play at PokerStars on October 5. Don’t be surprised to find them become the norm at your favorite online poker site in the future.

Matthew Pitt

Matthew Pitt

If it’s something you can play online for real money, chances are Matthew knows a bit about it. He’s been writing about slots, craps and poker for the better part of the last decade. He’s written for PokerNews, PartyPoker and many other respected online gambling websites during the last nine years.


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